When you make your Will, you expect your wishes to be followed when you die.
You do not expect your estate to be used up paying legal fees to defend against challenges to your wishes.
Disputes about Wills are increasing, which is a fact known to all solicitors who prepare Wills.
Yet most solicitors are not doing enough to minimise the chance of a contest succeeding.
Common Reasons For Contesting A Will
Someone trying to contest your Will normally makes one or more of the following allegations:
- that you were not mentally capable of making a Will
- that you did not understand the implications of your wishes
- that you were not making decisions of your own free will
If a dispute arises after you have died, evidence is key.
But what evidence will be available to show that those allegations are false?
Defending A Contested Will
The solicitor will be asked to provide a witness statement, but most can only rely on their written note of the meeting.
We do not feel that a written note, no matter how detailed, is enough, and neither is it the level of service you should expect from a solicitor.
With your consent, we will make an audio recording of the meeting and store that securely in our file.
We will also prepare a detailed written note of the meeting to assist us in drafting your Will, but the audio recording will be the key evidence.
In the event of a challenge to your Will, we will provide the audio recording so that all parties can hear you saying what you own, who you want to inherit, and why.
In our experience, the audio recording will dismiss any false allegations at an early stage, ensuring your wishes are followed and keeping legal fees to a minimum.
A Will is one of the most important documents you will ever sign.